India-China military talks which have been ongoing (now at 5 rounds) since the deadly June 15 India-China border skirmish which had the highest casualties of any battle between the two along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in fifty years have reportedly hit a road block this week.
The Indian Army has demanded that Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces conduct a full and rapid withdrawal from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) border in eastern Ladakh.
Weeks following the border clash which left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead and an unknown number of PLA casualties, the two sides agreed to establishing a one kilometre buffer zone. Subsequent photographs did suggest that PLA camps had been dismantled, but the situation remained stalemated amid negotiations, but also as India took significant steps to cut dependency on Chinese products, including a controversial ban on popular Chinese apps like TikTok, and turned toward imposing devastating economic consequences on Beijing.
The Hindustan Times quoted military sources Monday as citing a “lack of progress in the withdrawal of Chinese forces from several areas of Ladakh” which “required that a new round of negotiations be held with the participation of the 14th Indian Army Corps Commander General Harinder Singh and the commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region General Liu Ling.”
This despite the Chinese side claiming that the disengagement process was completed at most locations.
While the PLA has pushed for a mere return to the status quo, India has demanded Chinese troops depart some places they entered as recently as 2013, such as the Depsang area.
The statement said further: “Therefore, India insisted during the last meeting on the withdrawal of the Chinese army forces from the high mountain lake Panjung-Tsu as the Chinese military remained in their previous positions, despite the agreements on their withdrawal reached on July 15,” according to the Hindustan Times.
“After the withdrawal of the Chinese forces, India and China can begin to return matters to their previous position in this disputed area, and draw up a protocol on patrolling Indian and Chinese forces,” the military sources continued.
India's media is hailing Modi's "digital airstrike":
"Digital air strike.”— TRT World (@trtworld) June 30, 2020
Here's how the Indian media reacted to the government's ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, in the latest escalation of the China-India standoff pic.twitter.com/d9itSYPQNC
Meanwhile after five rounds of formal talks which have led to an effective cooling, the potential for armed conflict remains, given that according to Indian media, "The Indian Air Force(IAF) has also moved air defense systems as well as a sizable number of its frontline combat jets and attack helicopters to several key air bases."
Both sides have continued flexing throughout the standoff, including China reportedly sending more jets and military hardware to its high-altitude bases along the border.
China's foreign ministry has said India's move to boycott certain Chinese products has “artificially” damaged historically close economic ties, which does not serve India’s purpose.